by Jason Booker
From Chris Craddock, creator of BASH’d and Boygroove, comes Pornstar, a riotous hit. Amy Lee as Esther, a librarian secretly filmed having sex by a former boyfriend, receives an email informing her that she has been nominated for an award as Amateur Porn Performer of the Year and is invited to the San Francisco ceremony. Naturally this comes as quite a shock, especially since Sharon, her evangelical mother – played by the quietly amusing Lynne Griffin with many of the show’s best lines – now promotes the radical Tea Party. Toss in Clarice (Sarah Mennell) - a sex advice columnist who has been recently dumped, who recognizes Esther as Sharon’s daughter - and political satire, lesbianism, dancing and gunplay ensue. The show cannot be adequately summarized and made to sound funny, because the material – while quite zany – is really quite serious and topical yet Craddock and director Bryon Laviolette have found the humour to keep the audience entertained. The quirkiest of all these narrative threads is the deceased Kate, Esther’s sister, who tells of life in Hell. Heather Marie Annis brings life to Kate but not purpose; the mellower moments she provides are welcome and tie into the script towards the end but languish during the more raucous moments of the script. The design of the show is simple, with just a few onstage costume changes, great sound cues and some props that truly earn their giggles. I challenge anyone not to be rolling in the aisles during Esther’s Oh God speech – this performance is one of the best at the Festival. Do not miss this adult comedy, just don’t.